Roy Oswalt only concerned with wins
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Roy Oswalt was signed by the Texas Rangers to give the pitching staff a deep rotation, bring his years of experience to the table and give his team a chance to win when he toes the rubber.
So far, he's done his job.
Oswalt is 2-0 in his two starts with the Rangers. In his season debut, he looked better than most thought he would, giving up just one run on nine hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. His second outing was not as smooth. Oswalt allowed a career-high 13 hits that led to five runs, with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings of work, but he's only concerned with one thing.
"I got two wins," Oswalt said. "That's what I was looking for, you know?"
He doesn't care what his stats look like as long as he gets wins. Oswalt knows that's not how most people see it, but that's how he's looked at it his entire career.
"The way people view games now is different because of fantasy baseball," Oswalt said. "It's not about wins and losses anymore. If you get beat 1-0, strike out 10 and only give up one hit, they think that's the greatest game you've ever pitched in your life. I'd rather win ballgames myself."
He'll go after his third win with the Rangers tonight against the White Sox in Chicago.
While with the Houston Astros, Oswalt made the World Series in 2005 and lost. Like the rest of his new Texas teammates, he knows how hard it is to get to the World Series and fail. That's partly why he doesn't get caught up in the numbers game.
"We're trying to get back to the playoffs and win the whole thing," Oswalt said. "I understand what they're trying to say is if you dominate a game or something. But wins and losses are way more important than numbers."
The right-hander knows the game better than most, and he has a way of showing it on the mound. He knows what it takes to be a great pitcher in the major leagues.
"The biggest thing for a starter is to eat up innings," he said. "If you can throw 200 innings in 32-33 starts, that means you're in each game for six or seven innings. If you give up a lot of runs, you're not going to be in there for six or seven. You'll be out before then. Wins and losses are hard to come by. I've pitched some of the best games of my life and lost. I've had a season where I had 16 no-decisions in one year and threw the ball well. You just never know when you fall into that slot when they're going to score a little more runs for you.
"My biggest thing is throw your innings and try to get into the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Not only will you help the bullpen, but you'll have a chance to win those games late in the ballgame."
Oswalt is a veteran in every way you look at it. He's going to give you his all each time he has the ball, but will he last the rest of the year? After two starts, he says he feels great.
"I knew that coming in everyone was going to have a lot of questions about how good of shape I was going to be in," Oswalt said. "I made sure I was more (in shape) than I would normally be going into spring training."
He may not be the loudest guy in the clubhouse, but when Oswalt gets out on the mound, he takes control of the game, not necessarily with his stuff but with the way he knows the game.
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